Global Warming Is Accelerating. (In Other News, Democrats Reverse Platform, Won’t End Fossil Fuel Subsidies)

Yves here. As  global warming keeps passing all sorts of tipping points, the Democrats refuse to make even minimal steps to Do Something.

By Thomas Neuburger. Originally published at DownWithTyranny!

The three colors in the chart represent odds that a season will be perceived as cool (blue), normal (white) or hot (red). In 1950 to 1980, if represented on a six-sided dice, there were two blue sides, two red sides and two white sides. “The dice are now loaded, really loaded. … Four sides of the die are now red (hot) and one side is deep red for extreme heat, more than three standard deviations warmer than in 1951-1980. Dark red (22%) is creeping onto another side” (James Hansen et. al.)

As we contemplate the political events of the week — the Republican takeover of the Democratic Party and convention; Democratic media adjunct MSNBC lying about AOC’s Party-approved nomination of Bernie Sanders (before changing their headline); Bill Clinton daring to show his face in public, and post-MeToo leadership letting him — it’s nevertheless impossible not to be overwhelmed by this.

 • “Good morning. The Greenland ice sheet has past the melting point of no return

“[I]ce that’s discharging into the ocean is far surpassing the snow that’s accumulating on the surface of the ice sheet” — Michalea King, lead author of the study and a researcher at The Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center.

“[S]tarting in 2000, you start superimposing that seasonal melt on a higher baseline—so you’re going to get even more losses,” meaning the melt-rate has permanently accelerated while the snowfall has not.

But there’s a bright side: “It’s always a positive thing to learn more about glacier environments, because we can only improve our predictions for how rapidly things will change in the future … The more we know, the better we can prepare.”

We’re learning how to learn sooner how wrong we are, “so we can better prepare.” That’s the bright side.

• “Record Arctic blazes may herald new ‘fire regime’ decades sooner than anticipated

“Something’s changed in the environment there” — Mark Parrington, senior scientist and wildfire expert at the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

“This is the type of fire event that would be described by these worst-case modeling scenarios that were supposed to occur mid-century” — Jessica McCarty, a wildfire expert at Miami University of Ohio.

Mid-century (2050) Arctic fires now occur regularly.

• “Global warming is accelerating. 12-month mean peaked just below prior maximum

“[G]lobal temperature is clearly running well above the linear trend that existed for decades” — climate scientist James Hansen

“1) That jump off the linear trend ought to scare the crap out of you. 2) Who but the careful public managers of your emotions say that being batcrap-scared is a useless response to the climate?” — Yours truly

Nonetheless, not everyone is scared.

• “Democrats Drop Demand To End Fossil Fuel Subsidies From Party Platform

“Roughly half of all U.S. oil reserves required subsidies to generate a profit, according to a study published in the journal Nature Energy in 2017, and that was before the price of crude plunged far below $50 a barrel.” — Huffington Post writer Alexander Kaufman.

“This platform is a step backwards” — Charlie Jiang, Greenpeace.

• “DNC’s Flip-Flop on Fossil Fuel Subsidies Follows Deep Ties the Industry

“In August 2018, the DNC approved a resolution from Chair Tom Perez that reversed a DNC policy prohibiting it from accepting contributions from fossil fuel PACs. … Shortly thereafter, donations from fossil fuel executives began flowing into DNC coffers.” — Donald Shaw, money-in-politics editor and co-founder, Sludge

• “A-a-and we’re done…” — Yours truly

If the question is climate, who with any power is the answer? Certainly not Joe Biden.

The real answer, of course, is the people, but only if they know it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. sd

    If it’s any comfort, Grimsvotn volcano may erupt sometime in the near future. Maybe we could coax it into triggering a little volcanic winter….well, other than still having most of my teeth, that’s all I’ve got on the happy front.

  2. Lee

    Large scale greenhouses can be used to replace power stations for electrical power generation.
    The plants grown inside the greenhouse are pulverised and desiccated before use as the fuel source for the electrical generation.

    The heat and the CO2 released in the combustion process are captured (and recaptured) within the gas impermable greenhouse,
    providing a huge acceleration in annualised plant growth. Perhaps as much as 40 times in the UK. A jungle in a bottle.

    To achieve reliable 24h/365d power delivery to the national grid the greenhouse must therefore use the ground as very
    large thermal store and have an appropriate lighting system.
    An IR curtaining system.

    Reliable power delivery 24h/365d unlike PV and wind. Good as they are. They need batteries.
    No CO2 released (handy for carbon neutrality by 2030) Gas impermable.
    No H20 released (handy for a deserts, but Brownfield and Opencast site with broken ecosystems can be used.
    No fossil fuels usage.
    Greenhouse a reliable technology that has been available for use for 120 years.
    Power for 300,000 homes.
    Diversity of electrical supply.

    50 square kilometres 7×7 / 20 square miles produces to a gigawatt. 4.5 x 4.5 miles
    Or 100 mw from 2 sq mls.

    No genetically modified plants. A plant breeding program.

    Light capture by the plants should be maximised, infrastructure hidden.
    Grass paths, no roads. They are closed carbon cycle.

    Fan driven horizontal flues?
    Chimneys are VERY good at bypassing plants that are on the ground. :-(

    Upto 100 metres height? Vital capacity

    The greenhouse biosphere is supercharged by starting with pulverised domestic rubbish
    as the fuel. Once a suitable biomass is achieved fuel cropping can begin.

    Production of cement? Capture the CO2.

    People can live in the greenhouse. Very low energy footprint.

    Carbon neutral by 2030. Shovel ready in two months, if taken seriously?

    Green powerstations help humanity wean itself off of its fossil fuel dependancy?

    1. periol

      I do like this idea, but I would need to be convinced that it can scale up.

      So we need to build fifteen to twenty thousand of these to replace our current power infrastructure? How long will that take? How much will that cost, and you think the grid will be entirely replaced in ten years?

      I’m all for ideas that work. Getting ideas that work, and then implementing them at scale – that’s always the rub.

      2013’s planetary energy consumption was right around 18000 gigawatts, and it’s gone up since then.

      Definitely a better idea than the carbon capture or carbon scrubbing plants though.

      1. ambrit

        The idea is probably doable, but not for the present sized population of the Earth. Perhaps a small political entity somewhere remote can pull this idea off. If it is successful, it will have to be defended from ‘outside’ predators, the two legged sort.

    2. PlutoniumKun

      I’d be interested to see the raw data behind this – this is a new proposal to me. I’m not sure though the practicalities of a close system for CO2. I recall once a casual conversation I had with a biomass power plant engineer who told me about some private experiments they did with using waste energy to heat greenhouses. At first I assumed he was talking about some type of heat exchanger, then I realised he was saying they directly pumped the exhaust gases into the greenhouse. It turned out to be (unsurprisingly) impractical because of a build up of impurities – I’m not sure whether any experiments like that have been written up.

      But like all such proposals, it is limited in extent in practice. Assuming the figures stack up, then it could work for countries with lots of spare land – say, Finland or Canada or Russia. But even a quick calculation would show that it would be difficult if not impossible to get such large chunks of land in most densely developed advanced countries (unless you were to ignore things like wildlife designations).

      Any rapid solution will have to use a mix of methods – a genuine crash GND would need to use pretty much all tools at our disposal – wind, solar, hydro, bioabsorbtion, and yes, probably (in some circumstances) nuclear. But every country and grid is different, there is no cookie-cutter solution.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Right in the middle of his book Storms Of My Grandchildren, the NASA atmospheric and climate scientist James Hansen wrote several pages on the absolute heat-death-avoidance necessity of nuclear power and about how better-than-currently-used designs exist. He freely admits to being just a reasonably self-educated layman doing his best to understand nuclear energy, just like the rest of us.

        But I found his several pages on the subject to be worth having read, and very intriguingly hopeful . . . IF true. So are they true? The more people who read those pages, the more people might begin thinking about this.

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I’m not by instinct anti-nuclear, but the simple reality is that we’ve had countless billions of dollars (probably trillions in real terms) invested in nuclear industry by civil and military agencies in many countries for the past 70 years, and we still can’t be past the basic light water thermal reactors that were originally designed in the 1970’s. Safe, modular reactors with low waste have been promised for decades, but a bit like fusion power, they always seem to be a decade away, and have been for half a century or more.

          In an ideal world, someone will come up with a neat, easily mass-produceable reactor using something like thorium or existing waste, with sodium coolant, and they can be produced in huge quantities, solving our problems. But the reality is that nobody has made a workable one so far (and the militaries of at least 5 countries have spent decades and countless billions trying). So in my view it is profoundly dangerous to rely on some sort of breakthrough in the timeframes needed.

          The reality now is that in most countries, solar and wind power is now competitive, and frequently cheaper than the alternatives. The technology is proven and viable and it is folly to invest in anything else right now.

          1. Telee

            The thorium reactors have been known for a good while. There were scientists that were raving about it because they present no possibility of a meltdown and radioactive byproducts produced will decay in under a 50 years while the conventional reactors being used produce lethal radioactive byproduct which take thousands of years to decay. They don’t produce the byproducts that can be used to make atomic bombs hence their development squashed. I was told by my cousin who is a professor emeritus of chemical physics that the Chinese are developing thorium reactors.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            Well, I am just a layman about nuclear affairs, and so is Hansen himself. But I think I understood him to be writing that the nice little efficient mass-producible reactors you imaginize have already been developed and now lie silent under the heavy wet blanket of federal and other suppression.

            Its in the middle of his book Storms Of My Grandchildren. People can find it, read it, and see what they think.

          3. Wind Hippo

            If global warming is an existential threat, then “the simple reality” is that costs and economics and investments are completely meaningless. The only thing that would matter is available resources and labor. Put towards the goal of reducing emissions and warming [so, perhaps nuclear].

            Any argument less than that, including bringing up $dollar numbers or $/kwh, means it isn’t an actual existential threat.

    3. TomDority

      I would bet that the bio-diversity inside the greenhouse would be to low to have conditions for sustainability – I could be wrong – On the outside of these greenhouses – bio-diversity would have to be improved with the help of human intervention so as to maintain and improve the likely habitability of bio-diversity.

      On a side note- I wish the thinking (pushed by a bunch of economists and inflated ego type financial speculators would just stop perpetuating
      “The strong survive” “Survival of the fittest” and all that macho drivel.
      The recognition should be
      The survival of the most functionally well adapted to the environment.
      My point being is, all life on the planet is dependent upon all other life on the planet and is also dependent on the confined spaceship planet earth. A healthy planet is one with huge diversity that floods all the niches and operates like one huge organism. We humans have been poisoning the system too long…we have been changing the bio-sphere in a negative fashion for too long….we have been destroying bio-diversity and all its critical connections for too long… We have become the most mal-adapted species on the planet.
      The changes needed to reverse these trends are well within the immediate capabilities of our species.

      Supporting the fossil fuel companies is a result of our mal-adapted species cumulative ignorance regarding our insatiable desire to distance ourselves outside and above the rest – to claim superiority to all species other than our own…. and even then…to also believe that differences in shape, form, color, social connections different than our own – leads us to conclude we are superior to others of our own species – I don’t know how we can convince ourselves that we are mal-adapted and need to operate different –
      First we need to get over the whole meme that we pride and apply to us – ‘survival of the fittest’ – for surely we are not … and what does our wanton destruction of the only place we have to call home say about our intelligence?

      So anyway, – Lets start by taxing things we want less of – like high speed trading on Wall Street, monopoly, – Asset inflation by puffing investment in stocks, real estate, land, resources – which ultimately makes the cost of living and working impossible for the vast majority — un-tax real tangible investment into real things, real production, labor…. real tangible things like the ultimate infrastructure – that being planet earth.
      You know, we humans (I mean to say that collectively) have not payed much attention to cleaning our shit up. We love to take things naturally provided by the earth and fight like hell to keep from responsibly sharing by grinding it to pulp in our ignorant mouths and throwing the resultant digested material at each other.
      It really can change and we can really afford it…. If we can throw billions at fossil fuel that destroys the habitability of the planet, If we can throw trillions into unending wars that destroy and pollute,
      if we can throw trillions in tribute upon the wall-street speculation and financial predators that cause all the asset inflation and rise in misery around the world – throughout human history (creditors) (its not really anyone or bunch that can be pointed out as it is a structural systemic invention of man) and because we devised the tax system that rewards that behavior and, makes it easier to earn a buck that way – the results speek for themselves……..Because we can throw trillions at these things without mention of ‘we can’t afford it’
      then for sure we can afford to get off our pompous, shit tossing, fighting, name calling, finger pointing collective asses and afford to make a habitable planet…. and if we can’t then sure enough – we will find ourselves to have been the most ignorant and mal-adapted creature to have ever evolved on this planet.

      I bite my tongue and say… I am going to Vote Biden – however after doing so – I am going to go full dive to keep the fire burning under our corrupted congress and up and down the system to keep the fight going for corrections to all the injustice – It don’t stop at the vote – the protests must continue and the fight as well.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        There is a narrow case to be narrowly made for voting for biden*/Harris. And that case is strictly based on “slowing the rate of national decay” down to just-slow-enough that millions of neo-counterculturists and neo-culture shifters can use the time to design, grow and practice a better culture in public view. And use that culture as a meeting-space to organize and movementize for aggressive political conquest of any and every political power position which seems conquerable, occupyable and worth the trouble as a set of bases from which to co-ordinate and launch further such actions in rolling waves and consolidations between waves.

        There is a narrow case to be narrowly made for voting against Trump/Pence. And it is this: if we think of America as “Rome”, then we can think of the StormTrumpers as being the ” Huns, Vandals, Goths, Franks” and etc. The Trump mission is to destroy governance capabilities so fast and thoroughly that no post-Trump successor can ever restore any of them. As a secondary part of that, the TrumpAdmin pursues pure permissiveness for polluters . . . to give them total license to fill the air with cancer gas, fill the water with cancer juice, and pour cancer gravy over all the food.
        One supposes a biden*/Harris Administration would slow and restrain the rate of polluter permissiveness. For example.

        The Trumpies view themselves in America like pirates on a beach . . .digging for buried treasure and then moving on. The Catfood Democrats view themselves in America like Plantation Slavelords in the Old South, ” mowing the grass” and whipping the slaves in a “sustainable way.”

        So that’s the brand name two party choice on offer. Does either one offer a better scope and hope for extra-political and para-political culture upgradement for creating a CounterCulture 2.0 and a CounterEconomy 2.0 all around, under and between the Official Spider Webs of Overt Power?

        1. BlakeFelix

          Although Plantation Slavelords unfortunately weren’t sustainable at all, one of the reasons that they had to keep expanding. Their permaculture practices don’t get as much attention, but they were terrible. They just get properly overshadowed by their Human Resources departments…

  3. periol

    As an Arctic watcher, I can tell you that after April, which was the coolest month April since 2004, May and July were the hottest on record for those months, and June was the second hottest. August is still warm, and temperatures and sea surface temps have been anomalously high all summer, especially on the Siberian side where the ice melted our super early.

    It all feels quite a bit like global dimming to me, sadly. It was brought up at the start of the pandemic, but hasn’t been mentioned much. There’s going to need to be research to see if it actually had an effect, but it’s hard for me to believe these temperature anomalies all over the world, and not just in the Arctic, aren’t related to global dimming.

    Things were already bad, but I have a feeling they’re going to get much much worse. The anomalous SSTs in the Arctic are going to lead to a late/slow refreeze, which will have significant impacts on weather south of 80N as well as north of it.

    The really scary thing about the Laptev, Kara, and Chuchki Seas on the Siberian side of the Arctic are the methane clathrates. Those warm temperatures have already been releasing methane pockets, and that is likely to just keep happening, more and more. To make it worse, with the Siberian side melted out since July, Russian and Chinese tankers have been using it, releasing methane as they do.

    BTW, the remnants of Kyle/Ellen are supposed to show up right around the North Pole in about 3 days, and there is a ship that arrived at the North Pole yesterday, having sailed in open water from Greenland to the Pole. If this storm materializes as forecast, right where there is a huge hole in the sick ice that we have never before witnessed, we are likely to see a record low in Arctic sea ice extent, area, and volume this year.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      When you say “global dimming”, do you mean to say ” global undimming” ? As in, the coronavid-triggered economic slowdown releases less sunblocking particulates into the air, meaning less incoming sunlight is blocked, meaning more of the incoming sunlight free to heat the surfacesphere temperature faster because the legacy greenhouse gases are still up there?

      If you really do mean to say “global dimming”, in what sense is the level of incoming sunlight being dimmed just lately?

      1. periol

        Sure, the absence of global dimming for a few months. Sorry for not being completely accurate, most people just refer to it as the global dimming effect, and it isn’t scientifically proven as of yet.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I think we already have some preliminary semi-proofs of the basic concept. Whenever a sudden volcano blew a whole lot of sun-blocking ash-dust and sulfur dioxide into the sky , a year to several years of surface cooling resulted. Tambora, Pinatubo come to mind. Toba long ago, they say . . .

          So it stands to reason, even before all the scientific-quality data comes in and the science is done . . . to think that running the sunblock engine in reverse, lowering the sunblock particulate matter by lowering economic activity, should have the same effect “in reverse”. And it should only take a year now to see if global surface heat retention builds up faster enough that ice formations start melting off more fasterer, if some bigger better droughts build up “here” and storms happen “there”, etc.

          If I were a homedwelling homeowner able to armor-plate my home in place for various possibilities, I would try preparing for some bigger-better expressions over the next year or so of the kind of weather breakouts to the upside and to the downside which we are lately already seeing here and there.

          I think we can plan on more of it happening in various random “somewheres” without pretending to know just exactly “where” and “when” in particular. That means everyone should prepare for strange things as best they can. Tornados in Greenland and blizzards in Cuba should not surprise anyone going forward. Not anymore.

    2. periol

      2007 = first time Arctic Ice Extent (2d measurement) was below between 4-5 million square kilometers
      2007 + 5 = 2012 – still standing record low, first time ice between 3-4 million square kilometers (3.2 actually)
      2012 + 4 = 2016 – second lowest (at time) between 2007 and 2012, very bad year for ice volume
      2016 + 3 = 2019 – new second place finish, just below 2007 and 2016, second time ice below 4 million
      2020 = the ice looks terrible, in second place behind 2012, but much lower volume and concentration
      2019 + 2 = 2021
      2021 + 1 = 2022

      The rapid acceleration in planetary heat is obvious when you look at the Arctic sea ice. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to melt all this ice. With the rapid early melt on the Siberian side this year, the northern waters have been soaking up the sun’s energy. I fear 2022 will be apocalyptic for the sea ice up north.

    3. periol

      A slight error above, MARCH was the coolest March since 2004, April was the 6th highest temp reading (for Aprils), May #1, June #2, July #1

  4. ambrit

    The “Climate Cassandras” of a few decades ago used to speak about the ‘carrying capacity’ of the planet. We are now in the re-balancing phase of the population to resource matrix equation.
    I hate to sound too alarmist, but our main task now is to manage the collapse and ensure the survival of our technical civilization.

    1. periol

      It seems to me we are likely headed for a collapse similar to Atlantis. The only managers out there are racing to speed the collapse up. All that will be left are vague memories.

      I’m pretty much an alarmist too – I think the sooner we collapse, the better off humanity will be in the long run. The longer we continue with Business As Usual, the worse the eventual outcome will be. But we’re on the verge of being too late for that. Serious climate chaos is already baked into the cake, but the time-release formula hasn’t hit yet. Like a really, really strong weed brownie you ate an hour and a half ago, and the effects are just now starting to hit. We have decades if not centuries of increasing heat already built-in, even if we stopped all greenhouse production tomorrow.

      1. pohzzer

        Global warming is entering a logarithmic phase. Society will break down FAR faster than the hundreds of spent fuel pools and nuclear reactors can be mitigated. They will all be going up in flames. In thirty years the surface of this planet will, quite literally, be a scorching hot radioactive hell-scape.

        There will be no vague memories. Macro-life on this planet will cease to exist.

        1. periol

          I’ve been a doomer for 25 years.

          Things are speeding up, but I doubt that 30 year timeline. I’m also not convinced that we’re definitely turning into Venus. Humans are amazingly resourceful; I have a hard time believing complete human extinction is coming.

          Besides, better to hold onto a tiny bit of hope. If your scenario is correct, there is nothing to be done but wait. Maybe that’s what’s coming, but I have a hard time believing it’s entirely written in stone.

  5. PlutoniumKun

    I’ve been following the science since the late 1980’s, but the last couple of years I’ve had to avert my eyes. Its just too horrifying and upsetting to see tripping point after tripping point passed, with scarcely any notice taken by the public. Yes, I know the media has to take much of the blame because of so much terrible reporting, but I have long despaired that people just won’t really take in what is happening before their eyes. The worst thing is that so many ‘worst case scenarios’ I’ve been reading about from 20 years or so have now become ‘mid case’ scenarios. I once thought, rather grimly, what at least i would not live long enough to see the worst of it – that real collapse would only start to take place after around 2050. When I was involved in active environmental campaigning back in the 1990’s, I thought I was doing it for the children. But its now clear that we are going to see something very nasty, and it will come much sooner than expected.

    The Dems (and their fellow Centrist travellers worldwide) are completely beneath contempt. I’ve had this argument with people I know from this side of the Atlantic who are desperately hoping Biden will win, but its hard to convince them of just how weak and dishonest their policies are in reality. But despite the fact that they all know the science, they are quite simply lying in order to get power. To actually knowingly condemn the world to environmental collapse in order to grab at some power and influence is psychopathic. At least Trump has the excuse that he’s an idiot.

    At this stage, I think the only faint chance of rapid change is a Trump victory. This is because:

    1. He is such a moron that he could drive the fossil fuel industry into the ground through sheer stupidity.
    2. Worldwide revulsion of what he and the US is doing will finally make the Europeans/Chinese/Russians and others actually do something other than issue fine words.

    1. periol

      3. He would hopefully be the end of the USA as a corporate enterprise, which could maybe possibly be akin to collapsing early to beat the rush, if the rest of the world took the opportunity to power down and enough of the US was destabilized.

      1. campbeln

        This is why I voted for him in 2016 and why I hope he wins again.

        The American halls of power don’t have an issue with what Trump is doing, their issue lies in that he puts such an ugly face on it while he is doing it.

        That ugly face makes it plain to see and the discussions it elicits are important.

    2. notabanker

      “I’ve had this argument with people I know from this side of the Atlantic who are desperately hoping Biden will win”

      I’ve had it with people on both sides of the pond, and it’s the same story. Anyone but Trump is a global media meme that is pretty pervasive. I’m not by any means in favor of Trump, but we could do worse, and Biden may very well be worse, a lot worse, in the long run.

      The bigger answer is neither, but no one wants to acknowledge that elephant in the room. One has to wonder when foreign governments have had enough.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        It depends on what social classes in those foreign countries which those foreign governments represent.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      China burns oil and Russia sells oil. Expect China and Russia to support burning oil to the bitter end.

    4. Ashburn

      The best argument I’ve heard against electing Biden is that he will be a one-term rerun of Obama (corporatist, neoliberal austerity) that will bring on another right-wing Republican, only a smarter and more competent authoritarian one, say a Tom Cotton. A Biden loss and a Trump second term might delegitimize the current DNC apparatchiks enough that a real progressive movement could then emerge victorious. But by then it may be too late.

  6. jackiebass

    There will be no emphasis about climate change from democrats unless there is new progressive leadership at the DNC. The present DNC leadership has turned the democratic party into another version of the republican. These people at what used to be called moderate republicans.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      It will try to get away with not saying anything at all. If it MUST say SOMETHING, it will mumble about environmental sensitivity, drilling smarter not harder, and making sure all the ANWR oilfield development jobs are good union jobs at good union wages.

    2. Jeff in NY

      Actually, the DNC platform does say it will reverse the Trump ANWR decision:

      “We will restore protections for irreplaceable public lands and waters, from Bears Ears National Monument to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”

      Source: DNC platform, dated 7/31/2020, page 51

  7. farmboy

    induced entropy abounds, without dutiful and consistent and dedicated effort to make things work slow unraveling happens.

  8. rjs

    Democrats are trying to position themselves just a hair to the left of Trump’s Republicans so they can get the blue collar voters…

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Which blue collar voters are the Democrats trying to position themselves to get? The ones whose jobs they sent to Mexico? Or the ones whose jobs they sent to Bangladesh? Or the ones whose jobs they sent to China?

      1. Phil in KC

        None of the above. Biden’s acceptance speech had nothing in it to appeal to the blue-collar-barely-middle-class working men and women of this country. The Democrats have written that group off, although Joe still make nice with elevator operators and train conductors, which makes for nice pictures. Heck, John D. Rockefeller gave DIMES to people at random during the Depression.

        Also missing was any reference to the GND or any other meaningful action to mitigate climate change.

        I think crisis fatigue is setting in. The climate milestones are just zipping by as we accelerate down the highway.

        I seem to recall that Mayor Pete voiced grave concerns about the climate. By Democratic standards, he should be ready for the Presidency in, oh, 2044 or so.

        1. Jeff in NY

          The platform didn’t specifically mention the GND, but it did address several of the GND goals, with some degree of specificity. Again, from the DNC Platform published and released 7/31/2020 [pg. 52]:

          “We agree with scientists and public health experts that the United States—and the world—must achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and no later than 2050.

          “To reach net-zero emissions as rapidly as possible, Democrats commit to eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035 through technology-neutral standards for clean energy and energy efficiency. We will dramatically expand solar and wind energy deployment through community-based and utility-scale systems, including in rural areas. Within five years, we will
          install 500 million solar panels, including eight million solar roofs and community solar energy systems, and 60,000 wind turbines, and turn American ingenuity into American jobs by leveraging federal policy to manufacture renewable energy solutions in America. Recognizing the urgent need to decarbonize the power sector, our technology-neutral approach is inclusive of
          all zero-carbon technologies, including hydroelectric power, geothermal, existing and advanced nuclear, and carbon capture and storage.”

          If you’d like, you can read the document at your leisure here:

  9. Jeremy Grimm

    The link to Hansen’s bell curve brief: “Hunky Dory” [referred to as James Hansen et. al. (sic) in the post] mentions “Sophie’s Planet” a book Hansen has been working on. Most of the book is posted on Hansen’s site at: [].

    Sophie’s Planet:
    “I am writing for the sake of all young people, and I hope to communicate with those of you of high school and college age. You must be concerned about your future, and hopefully also about the future of your nation and your planet.” — from the first version of Hansen’s preface. []

  10. Synoia

    “Something’s changed in the environment there” — Mark Parrington, senior scientist and wildfire expert at the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

    “This is the type of fire event that would be described by these worst-case modeling scenarios that were supposed to occur mid-century” — Jessica McCarty, a wildfire expert at Miami University of Ohio.

    That is hardly a surprise. Most, if not all, of the projections were linear (linear growth is very unlikely), and the best projections are probably double exponential. That is an “S” curve.

    Human growth follows an S curve. There are few to none 150 lb human babies, but many 150 lb human males.

    The challenge with an “S” curve projection is estimating the exponents – The slope of the curve and it’s top limit.

  11. Trisha

    The North Pole – usually covered in ice – is rapidly becoming the North Hole. This year it appears that the sea ice latent heat tipping point has been irreversibly crossed.

    Once the latent heat tipping point is crossed, further incoming heat will be absorbed by the Arctic Ocean, rapidly warming those waters and potentially releasing gigatons of methane in a variety of forms. It’s already happening with permafrost melt.

    Simply put, like 99% of all species, humanity is headed down the path of extinction, and there’s no turning back.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Yay! Northwest Passage!

      The Arctic Ocean will become the new Mediterranean Sea of a new trading civilization along all its shores. Complete with Arctic vineyards and Arctic fig trees and Arctic date palms and Arctic olive orchards.

      And oil! oil! oil! All the oil you can drill. And coal and natural gas under all the land released from its burden of ice and newly open to mineral exploration and energy prospecting.

      No more salmon, though. Too bad about that.

      Now would be a good time for far-sighted entrepreneurs to buy up many tons of salmon and build cryogenic super cold storage for it. When salmon goes extinct , they can take their cryo-frozen salmon out of its liquid nitrogen storage and sell it to the New Energy and New Shipping Billionaires and sell gourmet shavings of frozen salmon at a thousand dollars per shaving. ( Would it surprise anyone if Japanese businessmen weren’t already doing this with bluefin tuna? So when it goes extinct they can sell shavings at $60,000 per shaving in the very highest end power-gourmet restaurants?)

  12. periol

    Another one for everything climate-related everything speeding up:

    There are two developing storm systems that look like becoming hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. If they both materialize, it will be the first time in recorded history that two hurricanes are in the Gulf of Mexico at once.

    Not only that, but both hurricanes could make landfall in Louisiana, a day apart. There could be some strange weather that develops from this.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Wouldn’t it be great if they could smoothly and seamlessly merge into one huge Category 6 Hypercane?
      And visit a city whose citizens believe that global warming is a liberal hoax?

      1. periol

        That’s dark, but I actually think if they form a Fujiwhara effect it could potentially be worse than a straight-forward “Cat 6”

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I’ll have to look up about “Fujiwhara effect”, but whatever that is, lets hope it happens to a bunch of people who have earned it and deserve it. And that those beholding it may see, know, learn and remember.

          1. periol

            The Fujiwhara effect was mentioned in the comments of the tweet I linked.

            Basically, when two storms end up close to each other, they interact with each other. If one is bigger, it will probably absorb the other storm after a little dancing. But if they’re about the same size, there comes a point where they start to orbit around a point between them.

            In the ocean, not a big deal, but if this were to happen in the Gulf of Mexico near shore, we could see these storms spin around a each other without really moving much. We haven’t seen two storms like this in the Gulf, so it’s all speculation at this point, but I worry we could end up with something like a Harvey-type situation where certain places are just massively inundated with rain, wind, and storm surge. It could be really chaotic because wind and waves would be coming from different directions.

          2. Matthew Kopka

            If you think that those poor benighted schmucks deserve it and not the scumsuckingdogs who hid climate change FROM us for decades, we are not political allies. LA already holds more sufferers per capita than any other state.

            EDIT/ADD: NO is full of liberals. They didn’t get off of their asses, either.

      2. TomDority

        Most of the citizens of NO do believe that Global warming and Climate change is man-made and not a liberal hoax.
        Its that kind of smear that Bush JR and the media made against the city while treating it like a third world country after Katrina — Done to hide the huge mess and incompetence in which Homeland Security botched the whole thing – by the way – The name Homeland Security hearkens back to Nazi Germany in my view – and the whole gigantic centralized organization is contrary to the recommendations found in the 911 report.
        Most of the criminality down their after Katrina was perpetrated by the authorities – end of sentence.
        Further – smears and half truths, and gaming wording (twisting the truth) seems to be the way to trick the gullible press and eager congress-critters into chicken little warmongering.
        So no – it would not be great – wishing it upon the great majority of those people who are wonderful people – fellow humans of far greater insight and resilience than you exhibit.
        So while I don’t know you – sorry for calling your attention to it – I am sure you are a much greater person

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps the different parts of the Democratic Party have rendered the Party not-agreement-capable where agreeing on a platform is concerned.

Comments are closed.